An Caisteal, Ben Loyal

Isolated and prominent mountain in north of Scotland

In the far north of Scotland, Ben Loyal is an isolated mountain standing above the bog and lochans of the 'Flow Country' in Sutherland. A very prominant mountain, particularly when viewed from the north and west, the profile of tors and crags have given the mountain the title of 'Queen of Scottish Peaks'.


An Caisteal, Ben Loyal


  Map base ©OpenStreetMap
Height764m
Prominence609m
Meaningthe castle
ListsCorbett, 217
LocationSrath Dionnard, Coigach and the far north
Grid RefNC578488
Lat/Lon58.40493, -4.43504


Just south of the village of Tongue, and just a stones throw off the NC500, Ben Loyal, the 'Queen of Scottish Peaks' is a dramatic and isolated mountain standing above the lochan pitted landscapes of the 'Flow Country'. A very prominant mountain, particularly when viewed from the north and west, Ben Loyal's remarkable outline of crags and cliffs belies its modest height, which just scrapes into Corbett's list.

The most popular route up Ben Loyal heads in from Ribigill Farm just south of Tongue. This routes follows farm roads and rough tracks to Ben Loyal's foot from where a trudge up heather and grass gains the mountain's grass-covered crest.

Sacrificing viewing Ben Loyal's fine northern aspect, another approach heads in from Loch Loyal to the east. This route to Ben Loyal's crest is shorter, quieter and has less ascent than the approach from the north.

Ben Loyal's summit crest is a vast expanse of grass with summits dotted here and there. An Caisteal is the highest point on the mountain, which requires a bit of care to bag, particularly if rock is wet.



Routes up An Caisteal, Ben Loyal


Ben Loyal from Ribigill

Starting from near Tongue, this route displays a fine aspect of Ben Loyal and its spurs for much of the approach in. Higher up, grass covered crests link the four granite peaks, of which An Caisteal is the summit.

Peaks : 1 Munro

Ascent : 975m (3200ft)
Distance : 14km (9m)
Time : 5:15hr

Ben Loyal from Loch Loyal

Sitting to the east of Ben Loyal is Loch Loyal in a remote area of Sutherland. Avoiding farms and associated fences and livestock, approaching Ben Loyal from this direction is quiet and peaceful and allows for a circular route to take in the four granite peaks on the summit crest.

Peaks : 1 Munro

Ascent : 775m (2540ft)
Distance : 10km (6m)
Time : 3:50hr



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